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Razorbacks open SEC Tournament with Alabama

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks open SEC Tournament with Alabama

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – After a two-year absence, the Razorback softball team will participate in the postseason conference tournament. Arkansas enters the 2009 Southeastern Conference Tournament as the No. 7 seed after collecting a 10-16 mark in league play. The Razorbacks will face second-seeded Alabama in one of Thursday’s first-round games at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (CT).The first-round matchup between Arkansas and Alabama is a rematch of the April 18-19 series played earlier this season in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide, then the No. 6 team in the country, came away with the three-game sweep. The Razorbacks now trail in the all-time series, 37-7, with Alabama winning the last 22 meetings.Arkansas and Alabama have met three previous times in SEC Tournament play. The Razorbacks won the first of those contest with a 3-2 victory in the 1999 event. That season, Arkansas advanced to the championship game and finished as runner-up to LSU. Alabama won the other two meetings, a 2-0 victory in 2001 and a 2-1 triumph in 2002.This will be the second appearance in the SEC Tournament under head coach Jamie Pinkerton, and the program’s seventh trip to the league tournament. Arkansas has now claimed the seventh seed on three occasions. In six previous appearances, the Razorbacks hold a 9-11 record in tournament play. Prior to the 2006 season, the SEC Tournament was double elimination.When 2009 SEC postseason honors were announced Wednesday, Brittany Griffiths was named a member of the league’s All-Freshman team. She is the third player in program history to earn the honor, joining teammates Jessica Bachkora and Miranda Dixon, who were awarded after the 2007 season.The Crimson Tide ended the regular season with a 45-8 record, including a 21-6 mark in SEC play. Alabama closed out its conference schedule with a sweep of Tennessee in Knoxville. Collectively, seven Crimson Tide players earned all-conference honors.Charlotte Morgan, the 2009 SEC Player of the Year, is hitting .414 to lead the Crimson Tide offensive attack. Including Morgan, seven Alabama players are hitting above .300. Morgan leads the team with 48 RBI and is one home run behind team leaders Whitney Larsen and SEC Freshman of the Year Amanda Locke, both of whom have nine homers. Leadoff hitter Brittany Rogers is hitting .393 and is second in the SEC with 42 stolen bases.In the circle, Kelsi Dunne leads Alabama with 24-2 record and 1.21 ERA. In 167.1 innings pitching, Dunne has struck out 211 hitters and held opponents to a .178 batting average. As a dual threat, Morgan carries a 14-6 mark and 2.09 ERA with 114 strikeouts in 124 innings. Locke is 7-0 with a 1.72 ERA in 12 appearances.

In other first-round action, regular-season champion and top-seeded Florida will take on Auburn. Georgia, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, will open the tournament with a matchup against Kentucky. Day one will conclude with a meeting between fourth-seeded LSU and host Tennessee. Arkansas’ game with Alabama will be broadcast on KXUA Fayetteville (88.3 FM) and ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also carry live stats.

Download: 2009 notes.pdf



Sports Category : Softball